Government rejects reappointment of University of Latvia rector

On Tuesday, August 27, the Cabinet of Ministers decided not approve Indriķis Muižnieks to continue in his position as Rector of the University of Latvia.

The University of Latvia said immediately that it would appeal the decision:

"The University of Latvia has already appealed to the District Administrative Court against the decision not to approve the Rector, seeking its annulment as an unlawful administrative act.

"The University will be represented in the administrative proceedings by the international law firm PwC legal , which has issued an opinion stating that the rector's election in 2019 at the University of Latvia was legal."

The Government appointed Professor and former Dean of the Faculty of History and Philosophy of the University of Latvia Gvido Straube as acting rector.

The reappointment of Muižnieks has become controversial within academic and political circles following allegations of irregularities in the process of his election. The University and Muižnieks himself deny any wrongdoing or that any rules were broken, and various voices have suggested the appointment of a new rector has become politicized.

Addressing the cabinet in person, Muižnieks said he had confidence that in a state governed by rule of law, the correct decisions would be made. He has been Rector since 2015 and has been associated with it in one way or another since 1976 when he graduated as a biologist and became a research assistant, rising to become Dean of the biology faculty in 1997.

With the start of the new academic year imminent, the furor surrounding the rectorship is providing an unwelcome distraction to staff and students at Latvia's most prominent academic institution.

You can read an interview with Muižnieks from happier times in a feature we produced last year.

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